Friday, October 10, 2008

The Rumour Mill: Sundin? Gaborik?

The recent injury to Daniel Alfredsson has underlined Ottawa's susceptibility to offensive fallout if one of the big three goes down with an injury. As a result, rumours have ramped up on that mythical 'top-six' forward the Sens need.

First name up is Mats Sundin, who apparently had a chat with Sens owner Eugene Melnyk while the Sens were in Sweden. He's also got the same agent as Alfredsson, so maybe there's a price break or something we can swing. Sportsnet has reported that Melnyk wants Sundin on the Sens. Really? Wow, that's surprising. I think there might be 30 teams in the league who want Sundin.

What would signing Sundin require? First of all, he'd want to return to the NHL. Then he'd have to decide to sign with his long-time team's arch-nemesis. Then he'd have to decide how much, somewhere in the range of $7-10M are the common estimates. Then the Sens would have to clear that cap space (they've got somewhere between $2.5-3M available now), something that wouldn't be easy. I don't know who the Sens would trade to dump it, because the only significant contracts the Sens could get rid of are Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza. I don't see those happening, and trading one top-six forward for another wouldn't help our depth too much.

The other names is Marian Gaborik. Would it be nice to have such an energetic, dynamic player on the Sens? Absolutely. Would it be likely? Not really. Even if Minnesota is really trying to trade him, which seems unlikely, they're not going to give him away for nothing. The Sens do have a first-round pick from the Andrej Meszaros trade, which is nice trade bait, but the Wild will need some scoring help in return. And Gaborik's cap hit is $6.3M, which isn't easy for the Sens to swallow, either.

It would be great to see either of Sundin or Gaborik (or both!) in a Senators' uniform by the end of the season, it doesn't seem very likely. Crazier things have happened in the world of Bryan Murray, though.
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